Good Character - Licensing

Purpose: This bulletin explains how the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s (RECA) good character policy applies to applicants, including what good character is; conduct that may raise good character issues; the licensing review process and potential outcomes; and, factors the executive director considers in licensing decisions.

This bulletin applies to licensing applicants

What is good character?

The requirement that industry professionals have good character is essential to the real estate industry as it:

The Real Estate Act or Rules do not define good character. Case law defines good character as moral strength and includes integrity, candour, empathy, and honesty. RECA evaluates the following when assessing an individual’s good character:

Respect for the rule of law
Public confidence in the real estate industry requires industry professionals to respect and comply with the law. RECA considers convictions under any law of any country when evaluating a person’s respect for the rule of law.

Industry professionals must conduct themselves honestly when in the care and control of money, property, and information. An honest person is truthful, trustworthy, and genuine. A dishonest person deceives or manipulates the truth by lying, misrepresenting the facts, or omitting material facts.

When dealing with RECA, an applicant must:

A person’s history of conducting themselves dishonestly is relevant when RECA is evaluating whether they are honest.

RECA must ensure industry professionals are governable to serve public interest, protect consumers, and protect the reputation of the real estate industry. Applicants must:

An individual’s history of regulation in another profession or jurisdiction is relevant in assessing good character and reputation, and governability.

Financial responsibility
An applicant’s lack of financial responsibility may demonstrate a lack of good character when they:

Financial concerns resulting from an economic downturn or negligent mismanagement of money or property does not necessarily demonstrate a lack of good character.

Professionalism is a standard of conduct based on ethics that govern the real estate industry. Professionalism means:

What conduct may raise good character issues?

Applicants must truthfully answer suitability questions when applying for licensing and registration.. These questions identify issues that may not reflect good character. The applicant must declare:

Declaring the above triggers a review of the incident and the applicant’s good character. Additionally, any information the executive director becomes aware of in the application process may trigger a good character review.

Industry professionals must also answer a suitability questions when applying for their annual renewal. The questions are substantially the same as those they answer when first applying for licensing and registration.

What factors does the executive director consider when evaluating good character?

In order to decide an outcome, the executive director considers the circumstances of an incident, the length of time since the incident, the person’s actions since the incident, and the person’s insight into the incident. The executive director places significant weight on cooperation and honesty during the review process, and expects applicants to accept responsibility for their conduct and rehabilitate when appropriate.

Example Licensing Decisions: Licensing Refusals

A returning applicant demonstrated a lack of cooperation and respect for the rule of law by:

An applicant demonstrated a lack of honesty and governability while working as a real estate developer by:

A reciprocity applicant from another province demonstrated a lack of financial responsibility and honesty by:

An applicant demonstrated disrespect for the rule of law and a lack of honesty by:

An Appeal Panel upheld RECA’s decision to refuse registration.

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